My first marriage was not a success. I never wanted to go through a divorce. I’d experienced what happened after my mother’s failed marriage and how I was separated from my brother and sister. My biological father died in World War II when I was just a baby. I never knew him. My mother’s second husband I remember as being funny and never mean. But I remember also being four years old and holding my brother close as we hid under the table and the fights raged with kitchen utensils and pans flying around the room as my mother yelled, while my baby sister cried in her crib. I didn’t want that kind of marriage.
Later, she married a man who became my father and they shared fifty plus years together.
I was young when I met my first husband and I was sure this was a love that would endure. He was a good man, kind, and funny. But when he drank, he became someone to fear. I don’t regret being married to him, for out of that marriage came my four wonderful children. But as the years passed and his drinking increased, I knew if I didn’t get out, he would one day kill me. So my marriage became another statistic.
Then I met Ron and fell in love with the kind, gentle soul he was. He was a tall man with huge hands and an even bigger heart. He touched me with gentleness and his eyes spoke of his deep love for me. A love I’d never experienced before.
We went through tough times and good times, but our love only grew stronger. He was a good father to my children and his. I was blessed with gaining four bonus children. A perfectly blended family of four boys and four girls. We were like the Brady Bunch, with one difference. My son, Kevin, never accepted Ron as a father figure. My ex-husband played upon that and my son chose to live with him when he turned fourteen. The pain of losing him from my life has never been healed, but I had to let him go. Over the years, we saw him when we visited my parents in Illinois. A short time after Kevin graduated high school, he moved back with our family for a short while. He eventually accepted Ron and they became friends.
Life was good until Ron, who was never ill, suddenly was struck with heart and lung issues. He slowly declined over nearly three years and we said goodbye for the final time after thirty-three and a half years of marriage. I didn’t know how I would live without him. But I did. God was with me.